Author: donnaj65807

About donnaj65807

By day I install and train banks on banking software. In my free time, you will rarely find me inside. My passions are biking, hiking, backpacking, and kayaking. For the last few years I have led a women's bike group in Springfield, Missouri. It is very rewarding to encourage and mentor women who have not been on a bike in many years, getting them back into riding. Our group has quickly grown to over 150 women, from high school age into their 70's.

My First Attempt at ‘Bike Packing’

Last summer I was envious of my friends leaving for weekends on their bicycles with their panniers packed with all of their camping gear.  I love camping and I love biking, so I had to figure out a way to join them without going out and buying a touring bike.  IMG_3176As an avid backpacker, I already own all of the ultralight camping gear, so it was just a matter of how to get it all on my bike and still be able to ride it.  If I’m able to pack all of that in a backpack and carry it on my back for 10 miles, how much harder can it be to carry it on a bike, right? (And yes, all of you that have ever carried your camping gear on a bike, feel free to snicker a little at this point.)  The Katy Trail was picked for the destination as an easier route for a first-timer.  I was also biking with my friends Jackie and Kirk, and Kirk’s 13 year-old daughter Mazzy.  It was Mazzy’s first distance ride, so Continue reading

Camping Gear for Bike Touring

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Two of my favorite things – biking and camping.  To be able to take off on a weekend and do both is the best of both worlds!  Riding down a tree-covered trail by day and sleeping under the stars listening to the symphony of night.

I started collecting ultralight camping gear to allow me to stuff my kayak and overnight on a gravel bar.  After I had all the light-weight camping gear, the next logical step for me was to buy a backpack.  I am now an avid backpacker and regularly carry all I need for a weekend in a 65 liter backpack that normally weighs 35-40 lbs packed.  Next step…..let’s try to get all that gear I carry in a backpack and see if I can manage to get it on my trail bike so I can do an overnight ride on the Katy Trail.

I have two choices for sleeping.  If I will be on a trail where I know I can find trees, I will Continue reading

Rainy Day Gear

Yes, it is that time of year.  There is a reason for the old saying “April showers bring May flowers”, so it is always good during these cool spring days to prepare in case of rain during our rides.  I normally choose to not ride in the rain, but we all know sometimes we don’t have a choice.  You leave on a nice, sunny spring morning, and BOOM – you are 20 miles from home and those first rain drops start falling. Continue reading

5 Places for Destination Cycling

I can’t say this enough… I love to travel. Being a Midwesterner, traveling to warm tropical beaches is heaven.  I also love to bike.  When I heard recently there was a bicycle tour company that took you on a cruise to cycle at the different ports, I couldn’t sign up fast enough.  On a recent week in February I set sail on the Norwegian Star with Bike & Cruise Tours. http://www.bikeandcruisetours.com  Our group consisted of 25 men and women, some older, some younger, some more experienced than others.  The one thing we had in common was a love of cycling.

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Our first stop – Roatan Island, Honduras.  When we were cleared to leave the ship, Continue reading